The Woes of Being a Moral Agnostic

Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” -Frantz Fanon
Beliefs, Waste, and Daydreams
It seems to me that the avoidance of cognitive dissonance is a major cause of many of the woes of humanity. The problem that activists and atheists face is finding a way to loosen the hold people have on false core beliefs.  I consider myself agnostic as I don't hold a core belief on the existence of soul, afterlife, or deities. I'm open to new evidence in either direction. However, as atheistic beliefs tend to be far less harmful than theistic beliefs, there's much less benefit from shaking them from their certainty of nothing.

Our current state of affairs is a horrendous waste of potential. Think how awesome life on this planet could be if we overcame this bullshit. If you can't imagine it, you haven't watched enough Star Trek. For starters, I still can't speak in plain language to my computer and have it draw up the schematics for a whale tank. As I both loathe and embody wasted potential, I sometimes daydream trying to think of ways to free people from their false beliefs.

What follows is one such daydream, something I'd never do - but might just make a point:


Because He Was Black

The Truth Behind Trayvon Martin's Death
I type this knowing that your mind will reject the truth herein - as it's too horrible. The truth is contrary to how you've ALWAYS viewed this world, and a great many people cannot force themselves to be skeptical about the accuracy of their own world view. Everything they know about their life and the society they live in might be wrong?  Nah. It's too horrible, it would mean the world is a much darker place than they've ever allowed themselves to believe - and most aren't about to start now.

Trayvon was killed to cover up this truth, but if you can face your own fear and open your mind, his death can change the world. Here's the #truth:

Slavery Never Ended
Racism has been and continues to be intentionally perpetuated by the Owners. Ignorance and stereotypes are encouraged as fuel for racism, because racism is a control mechanism. The systematic inequality in favor of a irrelevant demographic distinction (skin color) creates an us vs. them distraction within the important demographic distinction: Owner and Slave.

By systematically oppressing minority subgroups within the Slave demographic, the Owners ensure the majority of the slaves will defend the current power structure. Within the majority subgroup:
- Most of the slaves will be thankful they aren't being as treated as roughly as the other slaves.
- Some will sympathize and push for better treatment for the other slaves, because if you do a little to help you have an excuse for why you didn't do the right thing.
- Others will defend the owners in the hopes of gaining favor and better treatment.
- Many will by into the fraud that the irrelevant distinction of skin color actually means anything.

Racism Exists to Distract
Focus on skin color and other differences, don't notice that it's debt. You're born into a family of debt or you're not, just as much as you're born with black skin or you're not. Don't notice, little Slaves, that you're being raked over the coals by the system. Just take comfort from the fact that the system favors your group over the other group.

Be sure to point out the color differences in the media. Make it a big deal that the President has black skin. Sure, skin color is actually about as important as hair color - but fool the people. Make them think skin color defines a person.

  • The first step to ending racism: Stop letting race be something worth mentioning. 
  • If you don't believe me about the 'slavery never ended' thing, here's a second opinion:


To the Piracy Victims: The Motion Picture Industry

I hear you've been losing too much money to online piracy, and would like the Government to control the only true medium of human expression to exist in the history of humanity a little tighter so you can have a few more dollars. Taking that as truth, I've decided to give you other ways that don't impede the internet revolution with this advice:   ADAPT OR DIE

1. Be my personal assistant.
I'm not positive how well I fit into your target demographic, but I know I have two traits you like: I like movies AND I don't mind paying to see them. That's right, I don't feel the need to steal from you. In fact, I wish I gave you money more often but I tend to forget.

I see a preview for a movie and decide I want to see it. Then I forget. I might not think the movie is worthy of the expense of seeing it in a theater, but I still want to see it and don't mind paying to see it. If you could fill the role of being my personal assistant with regard to your products and remind me when the ones I want to see become available, you'll get more of my money.

Why is it I can't hold up my phone while viewing a movie trailer and scan the QR code that displays in the bottom right corner during the course of the entire trailer?
 - why doesn't scanning that code add the movie to a 'notify of viewing availability' list on a website your industry sponsors (as I'm not interested at registering at separate sites for every studio).
- why is it that when I'm trying to decide what movie I want to watch, I can't go and see a list of movies that I've scanned to indicate I want to see?

2. Stop being control freaks.
Do you have ANY idea how ridiculously frustrating windows of availability are? All of us know there is nothing physically limiting you from making your products available on all mediums at the same time. We understand that back in the VHS days, it made sense to force us to go to the theater to see it first - then watch it through cable next - then be able to own it on video. Those days are gone though.

We know that you're lucky we're paying to watch your movie at all, quit making us wait for no reason. Your backwoods distribution policy is the catalyst for the piracy problems. Some things you should realize:
Not all movies are theater worthy. Get a computer guy to write a program that can make the call of whether one is or not, and don't send the rest to theaters. Make straight-to-DVD/stream not a derogatory concept.



Inspiration for this post courtesy of: this video without which I wouldn't have heard about #tomyunbornchild.

I am sad you will remain unborn, and sadder still that it was the right decision. In case their is an afterlife and your soul had been formed, I'd like to try and explain what happened in the hopes you can forgive me one day and we can get to know each other.

First, I'm going to start off with what I know and believe in order to give you a frame of reference. I'm not sure what the afterlife holds, or even if there is one. What you know about the nature of human existence may be vastly different than what I know/think I know and what I believe. 

The Biology: Our current understanding is that we have a pretty good idea of the biology of your existence. Children are formed within the body of a woman after the man's emission fertilizes the woman's egg. 

The Behavioral:  This can happen with a man and woman that feel great emotion for each other, but can also happen if they don't know each other. This can happen when a man forces himself on a woman (whether he knows her or not), and can also happen when medical professionals store the emission of the man and fertilize the woman's egg with it using tools. In your case, I felt great emotion for your mother and she gave me every indication she felt the same.

This can happen on "accident", on purpose, or purposefully on accident. I but the first accident in quotes because what people call accidents usually aren't accidents. Most "accidents" are people behaving irrationally under the assault of floods of hormones. I'm not sure it's been proven, but this is likely a biological trait more than a behavior. I guess the behavior part comes in with the excuses we give our rational mind in order to believe we weren't conscious of the risk of pregnancy.

The Spiritual:  We're absolutely clueless on this part. First, we don't even know for sure we have a soul - that we are more than the sum of our parts. Since if you're reading this we obviously are, I'll assume we do. We also don't whether we have always existed and inhabit our bodies or spring into existence in the womb. We don't know if our souls continue to exist after we die. Assuming we do, we don't know if we meld into a collective entity/intelligence or remain separate individual beings. Assuming the latter, we don't know what happens to us after our body dies. There are as many guesses as we can imagine, and we often kill each other because we disagree on the subject.

We also don't know when the soul comes to inhabit the body. We have a lot of arguments about abortion over that uncertainty (but to be politically correct, we pretend we're arguing about when 'life begins' not when a person becomes a person/soul and body join or are formed).

The Social:  This gets insanely complicated to apply to all of humanity, so I'll just stick with your specific situation. The society in which your mother and I live is one arising from centuries of believing a specific guess as to "what happens to your soul after you die." 'Religion' is a term that is much more elaborate than just "what happens to your soul after you die," but almost always includes a version of "what happens..." - so I'll be using it for "what happens..."

Anyway, the Religion and it's variants that have dominated the societal culture your mother and I live in isn't the most pleasant. For (I'm embarrassed to say) thousands of years, we've operated believing that a soul in a man's body was superior than a soul in a woman's body - treating the woman like property (and worse) was the norm for WAY too long. This is ironic to me, as the biggest two religions of our time both essentially instruct to "imagine that you had lived the life of the person you're about to interact with, and treat them like that." 

My understanding is that the Christian version is "love thy neighbor as thyself" "treat others as you want to be treated." The actual Christian's will probably see it in their best interest to disagree, but from the way that Jesus guy talked in other places, I think he meant to go overboard with it. Don't just be nice to people you run into, but go out of your way to be nice. I mean, he brought thieves and such home for dinner after all.

The Muslim version is apparently "As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don't do to them." I've also noted that Surah 16 kinda sounds like 'don't be disappointed if you have a girl' - but I've seen documentaries that indicate that's not how it's being practiced.

Somehow, though, women were treated like property and worse for a long long time. There was this thing called 'marriage' to glorify the moment in time when the woman went from being her father's property to her husband's property. It's gotten a little bit better since then, but a lot of our laws are derived from that viewpoint. As it turns out, your mother hadn't gotten the divorce finalized yet, and by the laws we were living under you would have legally been the child of her husband.

I'm not sure exactly how much that actually influenced her decision, but it was the main reason cited. I really didn't want her to get an abortion. I thought I was in love with her though, so I decided to support her decision. 

The decision really had nothing to do with you though. We didn't know you. That we never will is what we get to bear until we find out what's on the other side. I hope you understand. I'm sorry. I hope we get to know each other one day.